Today, I am grateful for my parents.
I know that as children, we feel like our parents are out-of-touch and difficult. I know that I did some serious fighting with mine growing up and I am pretty sure that I am not the *best* child now - I don't call regularly and I don't write/send pics regularly. But, as we've starting dealing with the difficulties resulting from the daycare situation, I have really noticed how hard it is to *really* get to the heart and mind of a child - to find out just what they are thinking, feeling, experiencing. I am learning how hard it is to raise two smart, creative, and independant girls. I can't imaging how hard it was for my parents to raise four kids to be strong and smart and self sufficient. While us kids might not always feel like we are doing a great job or life is pretty sucky, I can only imagine how much worse it could have been if my parents hadn't laid the background and foundation that we now stand upon in our lives.
My parents taught me that marriage is more than the wedding. It's a partnership - not necessarily an easy one - that is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, celebrations and downfalls. They taught me that it's going to consist of arguments - if it doesn't, it's not a healthy relationship - and it's how you work out those issues that is important. They taught me that while opposites attract (which I think Steve and I are), it takes commitment and love to find that common ground to make it work, year after year. I saw what it took to make it through the tough times and still keep a marriage strong. I think that I am a better partner because of it. After 10 years of marriage, I am more committed and in love with Steve than I was when we walked down the aisle.
Life isn't easy - being a parent makes it even more difficult. Your heart does truly walk around outside your body. You can't always protect them and even though anyone can be a parent, it doesn't come with instructions. You will question your abilities, your decisions, your methods. I just want my parents to know (since they read this blog), that I appreciate everything you have done for me, intentional or out of love. I love you and I know that I don't tell you that enough. You have been good role models for me so I thank you. I can't wait to see you at Christmas!